Scott, Cabinet in Panhandle get their game (fish) onby Dara Kam | April 19th, 2011
In Panama City on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon blast that sent 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam held their first out-of-town Cabinet meeting at the Bay County Government Center in Panama City.
Some good news for Florida anglers other than the Cabinet – Putnam’s staff announced the state would hold two free fishing weekends at the open of the red snapper season on June 4 and again for Father’s Day on June 19. And they’ve extended the scallop season for three extra weeks. The season will begin a week before its previously scheduled July 1 kick off and last two weeks longer than the slated Sept. 10 close.
The Cabinet fishing competition began almost as soon as the panel – all clad in Columbia fishing shirts embroidered with the new “Gulf Safe” seafood marketing logo – reached the podium.
“It’s great to be here,” said Scott, who purchased his $17.50 fishing license at C and G Sporting Goods in downtown Panama City earlier in the day. “We’re going to have a fishing tournament. And we all know that I’m going to win.”
Bondi stepped up to Scott’s challenge.
“The weather is beautiful. The water is beautiful. And I just hope the fishing’s good for me. I’m the underdog and they’re all betting against me,” she said.
Atwater didn’t miss a beat.
“We intend on using every tool in the tackle box and I want you now that if I do not win I will cut off the finances to your (agencies),” he threatened.
Putnam, who oversees the state’s fishing industry, wasn’t to be outdone.
In the “trash can slam, I’m going to bring in the cat fish, the trash fish and the jack,” he boasted.
Scott, whose wedding anniversary coincides with the April 20 one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon accident, joked with reporters after the Cabinet meeting.
“Don’t tell my wife I came here to get the Panhandle back to work,” he said. “She thinks we came here to celebrate our 39th anniversary.”